Why is there so much crime at Lake Tahoe? Ask Todd Borg

Owen McKenna lives in paradise – at Lake Tahoe, actually, which is close enough – but bad things keep happening to the former San Francisco Police Department homicide inspector turned P. I.

In author Todd Borg’s 14th crime-thriller, “Tahoe Dark,” McKenna takes on a multilayered case involving kidnapping, murder and an armored car heist (Thriller Press, $17, 351 pages). Along the way, he must prove the innocence of a young woman charged with a grisly crime.

Borg created his character soon after he and his wife moved to Lake Tahoe from Minnesota in 1990. Kirkus Reviews described McKenna as “a hero who walks confidently in the footsteps of Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe and Lew Archer.” Visit the author at

While on the subject of detectives, the world’s greatest returns in “The Ripper Legacy” (Titan, $10, 224 pages). It’s the 16th entry in a series by various authors called “The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.” In this outing, Holmes and Watson accept the challenge of finding a kidnapped child, but the crime is connected to a labyrinth of more intrigue and danger than the partners could ever expect.

“Psychological suspense” defines “Watching Edie” by Camilla Way, a novel that goes beyond the current trend of tales told by unreliable narrators hiding sordid secrets (NAL, $26, 304 pages). Something awful happened to destroy the high school friendship between Edie and Heather. A decade later, Heather suddenly appears with an offer to help Edie reconstruct her now-shattered life. Could Heather really be a stalker with some nasty agenda? Or is Edie imagining things?

The book was named an August pick by Library Reads, a partnership between librarians around the country and 10 top publishing houses (

World-famous magicians Penn Jillette and Raymond Teller have amazed audiences with their stage illusions and wacky humor for 40 years. Now Jillette tells how he shed life-threatening weight on a “potato diet” in “Presto! How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales” (Simon & Schuster, $26, 368 pages).

Why would a man choose to live in a barren landscape in Nevada? For context, try on “Raising Wild: Dispatches From a Home in the Wilderness” by Michael P. Branch (Roost, $27, 320 pages). In lyrical prose, the university professor (literature and environment) shows the Great Basin Desert as “a place teeming with energy, surprise and an endless web of connections.”